Circle of Trees

We all just want to be accepted for ourselves, as we are, imperfect, maybe a little rusty, maybe a little lost, maybe totally sparkling and shiny, maybe unsure, maybe confident... we just want to be seen and accepted as we are, no matter.

And we want to be heard.

We want to be in spaces that allow us to speak...

Speak our truth. Speak our pain. Speak our joy. Speak our needs. Speak our dreams. Speak our desires. Speak our anger. Speak our passion. Speak our sadness. Speak our grief. Speak our loneliness. Speak our love.

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But our modern culture is one of isolation and the lie of self-reliance so we often end up unseen, unheard, and without a safe, healing, and compassionate community.

The only way to heal and be whole and realize our full potential is through healthy relationship. Humans are mirror organisms. We grow our brains by mirroring the people around us and being mirrored as babies and toddlers.

That continues for our whole life. Now that we know the brain is more plastic and never actually "finished," the people we hang out with, the people we surround ourselves with, their role grows. It becomes even more imperative that we choose consciously and wisely... that we deliberately build our own emotional and spiritual eco-system.

Growing up, so many of us little girls were taught that other little girls were not nice or they were the competition or they weren't to be trusted. Growing into womanhood, we carry this toxic idea of women with us and say things like "I don't really have woman friends... you know..." or "My best friends are always men."

But women need women. We need to be in rooms with people who have had our experiences, who understand our fears, who believe in our dreams.

We need a circle of support.

The concept of the circle of trees actually grew out of my teaching at a local grade and high school for children from all over my state suffering from a wide variety of intense mental health challenges. I was trying to teach them about safe touch and safe intimacy so we started doing a literal circle of yoga trees, holding on to the shoulder that was to one side or the other of us. We did this in a variety of ways, but one thing was always the same -- those kids loved that circle. They loved the sacred nature of being with each other that arose from that circle.

Pretty soon I was teaching the same thing in all of my movement classes, whether yoga or dance, whether to young kids or elders.

And the results were always the same from one group to the next: people started to report back to me that this was their favorite aspect of the work -- this plugging into a community of other people having similar experiences. They started to understand that the movement work was simply a way for us all to be together and experience relationship with each other.

We started to grow some serious roots together.

And now you can add your own tree self to our circle in many ways: you can participate in my work, whether 3D or 1D (our preferred way of talking about "real" life and online because online is just as real as in "real" life and we get just as much out of our circle whether it's in my home studio or on Facebook); you can join our Facebook group by requesting to be added or by friending me and asking me to add you or you can follow my official Facebook page and get prompts and other fun stuff; and in the near future, there will be even more ways to participate, including me on the road (if you want me to come and help you build your own Circle of Trees, send me an email).

(Please note: the Circle of Trees on Facebook is completely private but not invisible. People can see we exist but they canNOT see anything anyone posts.)